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Fourthly,A good and holy man reflectXII. ing upon

this Assurance and Perswafion that he hath, may be able to give himself a reasonable account of it, and satisfie himself that it is not a stubborn belief and an obstinate conceit of things without any ground or reason. . A good man is secretly and within himself perswaded, that God hath revealed to him such a thing; reflecting upon this perswasion, he finds that it is a Foreign Impression, and doth not spring from his own Mind: Now he believing that there is a God, who can, and probably doth communicate and reveal himself to the Minds of good men; and being withal satisfied that his Goodness is such, that he will not suffer good men, who do heartily and sincerely desire to know his Will, to be under a necessity of Delusion, (which they unavoidably are, if they may then be deceived, when they have the greatest assurance, and clearest satisfaction that such a thing is revealed to them of God;) from hence he reasonably concludes, That he ought not to question the matter any farther. I


might instance in the Revelation made to Abraham, concerning the sacrificing Sermon of his Son, which hath the greatest III. difficulty in it of any case I know of: But of that I have elsewhere discoursed at large. * Thus much for the See vol. 1. First.

Serm, 20

Secondly, What assurance can other Persons, who have not the Revelation immediately made to them, have of a' Divine Revelation? To this I shall Answer by these Propositions.

1. That there are some means whereby a man may be assured of another's Revelation that it is Divine, For,

(1.) Otherwise it would signifie nothing, but only to the Person that immediately had it; which would make void the chief end of most Revelations, which are feldom made to particular Persons for their own fakes only, but for the most part,, on purpose that they may be made known to others, which could not effettually be done, unless there be some means whereby men may be assured of Revelations made to another.

(2) None

Volume (2.) None could be guilty of UnXII

belief but those who had immediate Revelation made to them. For no man is guilty of Unbelief that is not obliged to believe: but no man can be under an Obligation to believe any thing, who hath not sufficient means whereby he may be assured that such a thing is true.


The private assurance and satisfaction of another concerning a Revelation made to him, can signifie nothing at all to me, to assure me of it. For what satisfaction is it to me, that another may say, he hath a Revelation, unless I have some means to be assured that what he says is true? For if I must believe every Spirit, that is every man that says he is inspired, I lie open to all possible Impostures and Delusions, and must believe every one that either foolishly conceits, or falsely pretends that he hath a Revelation : for both the conceited and pretended Enthusiast will say they have Revelations, with as much confidence as those who are truly and divinely inspired : and to


take every man's word in matters of such huge, consequence and impor- Sermon tance, as Revelation from God ought III. to be presumed to be, would not be Faith, but Credulity, that is, an ungrounded Perswasion; which how severely God punish'd, you may fee in that famous instance, Kings 13. where the Prophet that was sent to Bethel, is upon his return torn in pieces by a Lion, because of his credulity and easie belief of a pretended Revelation. I confess this case is somewhat different from theirs who simply believe a pretended Revelation, as being complicated with some other aggravating Circumstances. For he had had an immediate Revelation from God, not to eat; nor drink at Bethel; nor to return the fame way that he came: upon his return an old Prophet meets him, and tells him that an Angel had appeared to him, and had bid him to bring him back, and to cause him to eat and drink; he believes him, and turns in with him. Now this was the Aggravation of his Incredulity, that when he himself had had an express Revelation from God; concern

ing which he was satisfied, he hearkVolume ned to the pretended Revelation of XII.

another, concerning which he had
no assurance, in contradi&tion to a
Divine Revelation, which he knew
to be such. Not but that the Com:
mand which God had given him
was in its
and God might have countermanded
it by another immediate Revelati-
on to him, or by an equivalent, that
is, a Miracle wrought by the Prophet
who pretended to countermand it from
God. Unumquodque diffolvitur eo mo-
do quo ligatur, the OÜligation which
was brought upon him by an im-
mediate Revelation, could not be
diffolved but by another immediate
Revelation, or Evidence equivalent
to it. However, this Instance serves
in the general to my purpose, that
a man may be faulty by Credulity
as well as by Unbelief and as a
man ought not to disbelieve where
there is sufficient Evidence; so nei-
ther ought he to believe any thing
without sufficient Grounds of Affu-

3. That

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